Install Ubuntu from Grub over Network


Posted by Andrew McCombe on Fri Jan 8, 2010

I have an old Dell C400 Latitude at home and use it primarily as a music server.  It doesn’t have any built in drives such as floppy or CD and I don’t own an external Dell CD drive.  It won’t boot from an external USB device so my options for installing a new OS are very limited.

A few years ago I borrowed an external Dell CD drive and installed Slackware on the laptop.  After that I installed Ubuntu 7.04 and since then it has been running on that.  I now need to do a fresh install but can’t borrow the external drive any more. So what can I do?

The answer is to install Ubuntu from the internet using the information provided at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/NetbootInstallFromInternet.   This is pretty straightforward and suprisingly quick.  I had my newer server up and running in just under 25 minutes.